17.04.2015 — Foreign employees will have to obtain accreditation cards for family members

Currently foreign employees working in representative offices in Russia are required to receive accreditation cards only for themselves. In the nearest future, they will also have to obtain accreditation cards for their family members staying in Russia, says the Russian Chamber of Commerce (RCC) ( http://tpprf.ru/ru/services/33288/).

Starting from 2015, RCC is to assist representative offices and branches of foreign companies in their visa issues and liaise with the Russian Federal Migration Service in this regard. RCC issues internal regulations and instructions concerning these aspects.

A new instruction has been recently published on RCC's official website. According to this instruction, the family members of foreign employees will soon also be required to receive accreditation cards in case they need Russian visas. The procedure involves submission of additional documents regarding each family member and is initiated after the payment of the RCC fee.

The website does not indicate the date of entry into force of this instruction, but we have been unofficially informed that it is likely to enter into force by the end of the year. It means that while foreign employees do not need to obtain accreditation for their family now, there is no guarantee that the situation will not change at any time.

The notorious ambiguity in the procedures, absence of clear regulation or tariffs of the RCC and the overall chaos in everything that concerns representative offices and branches of foreign companies has become an object of public discussion. The business society is deeply concerned with the current situation and the attitude of the state to foreign businesses. The official Russian Newspaper ('Rossiyskaya Gaseta') published an article on 24 March 2015 criticizing the actions of the authorities with regard to the situation ( http://www.rg.ru/2015/03/24/problema.html ).